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The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of investor relations and the capital markets, with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.

The Four Essential Elements of the Optimized IR Website

Posted on May 11th, 2016. Posted by

Your company’s investor relations website is one of your most important tools for communicating with existing shareholders and attracting new ones. Yet too often the IR website is neglected, with outdated or irrelevant information, multiple versions of the same document, and obsolete design.

It may be time to refresh your IR website. If so, keep in mind that your IR site should:

  • Stick to the facts… and get to them quickly. Most repeat visitors to your IR site will be looking to quickly access news and SEC filings, so make it easy for them to do that. Press releases should be easily accessible, and links to all public filings at the SEC — and I stress all public filings — should be in plain sight. Also, give visitors the option of signing up for news alert emails. Some of the more advance news alerts allow the user to customize alerts for press releases, SEC filings, presentations, or events. Make sure this option is easy to find. A good example of this is the web page you’re looking at right now — on the right-hand column, you’ll see a box for readers to enter their email; those who do will get an alert whenever a new blog post is published.
  • Provide a current overview of the company and investor highlights. I’m surprised by how many companies’ IR sites include multiple versions of their investor deck, or don’t include it at all. When you update your investor deck (and of course, you should do so from time to time), you need to replace your existing deck on your IR site, not just add the new one. My sense is that some companies retain multiple versions on their site in an effort to be transparent — but really, no one is interested in the evolution of your investor deck. They just want the current information. Including multiple versions is confusing, and it tends to make the lawyers nervous.Meanwhile, some companies keep their decks off their sites entirely, and that’s a mistake too. If your deck is good enough to present live to potential investors, then it’s good enough to post online. Potential investors are visiting your IR site to get a sense of your company, industry positioning, market opportunity, competitive advantage, growth strategy, and financial position. Conveying that information is the whole point of your investor deck, so share it.
  • Include your most recent financial information. Group all the quarterly earnings material together in the events section, so investors can easily access all the relevant documents, including your earnings press release, a webcast of your most recent earnings call (and only your most recent call), a transcript of the call (especially if your choosing not to pay to post this on StreetEvents), and any supplemental material or slides.
  • Convey important information in your own words. Short embedded videos are a great way for senior leadership to speak directly to potential investors, and give the site a more dynamic feel. Consider adding two- to four-minute video clips to introduce product launches and new services, emphasize the benefits of a new acquisition, or to discuss other important new initiatives. Video is also a great way to convey customer testimonials or highlight a brief case study. The videos you use on your IR site should have the same tone as those you’re using for sales; in fact, you may be able to use some of the same ones.

Your IR website is one of the first places potential investors will look for information about your company, and it’s where your current shareholders will return regularly for updates. Keep your site clean, simple, professional — and most important, current. For a review of your current site or a conversation about how to improve on what you’re doing, reach out.

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